City weighs Doran hotel

A mixed-use hotel would not complement the community.

Doran Companies, a development firm heavily involved in the construction of new apartments near campus, has submitted demolition requests for three properties in the Dinkytown area, the Minnesota Daily reported last week.

The demolition requests include plots that house Mesa Pizza and Publika Tea and Coffee Union, among other businesses. Doran is also seeking to demolish a house adjacent to Burrito Loco Bar & Grill, constructed in 1887.

The demolition requests come with a proposal for a mixed-use hotel. The single-family home adjacent to Burrito Loco, if demolished, would serve as a shared surface parking area for the hotel.

Development plans for Dinkytown remain a controversial issue among students and residents. Though the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission could block the project, the three buildings would likely not receive local historical designation.

While Dinkytown should see changes in the form of smart, “green” development, a hotel may not meet community needs. The plots are home to a mix of relatively new and/or successful businesses that may be worth preserving.

However, a hotel has the possibility of increasing pedestrian traffic in the business sector of Dinkytown. The proposed hotel would also be larger than current properties and a potentially more efficient use of the space.

The Heritage Preservation Commission will review the demolitions Jan. 21. A report from the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development recommended the HPC to approve the demolitions.

However, a hotel does not appear to be in the community’s best interest. The city must balance residents’ needs with growth in deciding the project’s future.